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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51730 Find in a Library
Title: REPRESENTATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNALS
Author(s): A FROST; C HOWARD
Corporate Author: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 108
Sponsoring Agency: Nuffield Foundation
London, England
Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
London, WC1E 7DD, England
Sale Source: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
39 Store Street
London, WC1E 7DD,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THIS STUDY OF THREE ENGLISH 'WELFARE' TRIBUNALS REVIEWS THE EXPERIENCES OF MAJOR PARTICIPANTS IN THE TRIBUNAL PROCESS AND CONSIDERS THE EFFECTS OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION ON THE PROCEEDINGS AND THE LITIGANTS' ATTITUDES.
Abstract: THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF TRIBUNALS, WHICH ADJUDICATE MATTERS SUCH AS RENT, INSURANCE PAYMENTS, AND SOCIAL BENEFITS BETWEEN GENERALLY LOW-INCOME APPELLANTS AND GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS, ARE DESCRIBED. THIS STUDY FOCUSES ON THE WORKINGS OF SUPPLEMENTARY BENEFITS APPEAL TRIBUNALS, NATIONAL INSURANCE LOCAL APPEAL TRIBUNALS, AND RENT TRIBUNALS AND CITES THE RESULTS OF A SURVEY CONDUCTED TO ASSESS PARTICIPANT PERSPECTIVES ON THE EFFECTIVENESS AND FAIRNESS OF SUCH TRIBUNALS AND THE RELATIVE INDEPENDENCE OF THE TRIBUNALS FROM MINISTERIAL AND BUREAUCRATIC CONTROL. INTERVIEWS WERE HELD WITH 229 FORMER TRIBUNAL APPELLANTS, 115 CHAIRPERSONS AND TRIBUNAL MEMBERS, AND 103 LAWYERS, AND TRIBUNAL PROCEEDINGS WERE OBSERVED. THE MAJORITY OF PERSONS HAD FAVORABLE EXPERIENCES WITH TRIBUNALS AND CONSIDERED THEM AS FAIR AS REGULAR COURTS, ALTHOUGH CHAIRPERSONS AND MEMBERS VOICED SOME CONCERN THAT TRIBUNAL APPELLANTS WERE AT A DISADVANTAGE SINCE SO FEW WERE LEGALLY REPRESENTED OR HAD ADEQUATE INFORMATION ON TRIBUNAL PROCEDURES. LAWYERS EXPRESSED CONCERN THAT JUDICIAL DISCRETION WAS TOO GREAT. MANY APPELLANTS ADMITTED THAT THEY HAD NOT APPEARED AT THEIR OWN PROCEEDINGS BECAUSE THEY FELT THAT THEY HAD NO CHANCE OF SUCCESS AND DID NOT USE LAWYERS BECAUSE THEY LACKED INFORMATION ON HOW TO RETAIN ONE. NEITHER APPELLANTS NOR TRIBUNAL PERSONNEL NOTICED A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN PROCEEDINGS REGARDLESS OF THE USE OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION. A SURVEY OF CHAIRPERSONS AND MEMBERS INDICATED THAT MOST OF THESE PERSONS WERE FROM THE UPPER AND UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS AND WERE PROFESSIONALS OR RETIRED PROFESSIONALS, WHICH HAS SOME IMPLICATIONS FOR TRIBUNALS' INDEPENDENCE. RECOMMENDATIONS ARE MADE REGARDING TRIBUNAL POLICY AND ASSISTANCE TO APPELLANTS. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (DAG)
Index Term(s): England; Legal aid services; Surveys
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51730

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